Can today's music industry not cope with the 50th anniversary trend?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Cameron.39, Jul 30, 2019.

  1. Cameron.39

    Cameron.39 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Nottingham, UK
    A huge portion of threads here seem to be concerned with reissues and recently, we've approached the 50th Anniversary of many landmark popular albums, which have mostly had some kind of re-release to celebrate the occasion.

    But the music industry was a different world back in the late 1960s. Up to 1967, most artists were expected to supply at least one, if not two new LPs each year and around three non album singles (in the UK). 1968 was the first year that many of the major artists from the British Invasion era either didn't release a new album at all (The Who, The Hollies) or only released just the one for the first time. The music industry was a fast and furious machine, if you didn't keep up, you were yesterday's news. A huge change was happening, and for the first time, the Beatles weren't giving everyone else any answers. The eclectic varied collage that emerged as 'the White Album' at the end of the year, with no artwork to speak of and two discs of barely related material sure didn't give other artists any hint of what direction to take now they'd been taken in by the psychedelic wave and washed up on the other side. It seems to me that 1968 was the pivotal year that artists began to stand out on their own merit, unable to be simply constrained to mere "pop music", turning out higher quality albums than ever. So the 50th Anniversary brigade have got their work cut out...

    In contrast, 50 years on, it's completely the norm for the top tier artists to take two, three and even four years between releasing a new album. They tour the album for all its worth for a couple of years, then seemingly disappear off the face of the earth for a year before emerging with a new album, being thankful that the fickle record buying public even remember who they are. There seems to be a polite way of pushing new material - something along the lines of "okay, well Adele is putting out her new album this month, so there's no point going up against it". Perhaps this is why modern music is becoming more and more filtered down. Strategic releases to maximise effect and sales have taken the quality out of the competition. It's not like it was where the Beatles would put out something like 'Rubber Soul' and within six months you'd have an equal or better response to it from other artists. That friendly competition just makes the 1960s so special to me.

    But where does this leave 50th Anniversary issues? The answer is either rushed or forgotten about. As we progress into the late 1960s now for these reissues, I've noticed that record labels are starting to miss the anniversary dates or for new releases to pale in comparison to the previous 50th anniversary release. Or even worse - miss the 50th anniversary altogether. So much great music came out in 1966-1969. It's actually difficult to fairly evaluate it all because of the sheer quantity of stunning music that all arrived at once. Forced to work at the pace that was set in the 1960s, the modern PR machine seems to have jammed up.

    We're barely two months away from the 50th Anniversary of the Beatles' seminal 'Abbey Road', and there's not been so much as an official hint at the contents prepped for the release. The Kinks have just announced a 50th anniversary set of 'Arthur', which pales in comparison to what they laid out for the 'Village Green Preservation Society' boxset last year, which we know was a few years in the making. The Beach Boys started such a strong annual rarity summary release with 'Sunshine Tomorrow: the 1967 sessions" two years ago, but it all kind of fell apart last year when it was announced that these would no longer be released in physical forms. And the Byrds seemingly forgot all about the 50th Anniversary of arguably their best album 'The Notorious Byrd Brothers', and haven't prepped a special edition of their best-selling 'Sweetheart Of The Rodeo' LP, which actually turns 50 today (though admittedly the current incarnation of the band are touring a 50th anniversary special show of the album). It seems so strange that in todays instant society, the music industry seemingly can keep up with the pace set in the 1960s.

    Is it just me who feels like this? What are your thoughts...
    ParloFax, Greg Gee and tug_of_war like this.
  2. wiseblood

    wiseblood Forum Resident

    Boston, MA, USA
    That's actually not true. Rumored lists from viable sources have been posted around the interwebs for at least 2 to 3 weeks now. It's coming and seemingly due at the end of September.

    Details from Wogblog:

    12” x 12” hardcover book to house:
    CD1: New ‘Abbey Road ’ stereo album mix
    CD2: Demos and Outtakes
    CD3: Demos and Outtakes
    DISC 4 (Blu-ray): Dolby Atmos mix of whole album / 5.1 surround of whole album / hi-res stereo mix of whole album
    Limited Edition

    Although we have seen a draft of a 3CD track list, this was not final:

    Abbey Road usual track list

    I Want You (She’s So Heavy) [Take 32 + Billy Organ]
    Goodbye [Demo]
    Something [Demo]
    Ballad Of John And Yoko [Take 7]
    Old Brown Shoe [Take 2]
    Oh Darling [Take 4]
    Octopus Garden [Take 9]
    You Never Give Me Your Money [Take 36]
    Her Majesty [Takes 1-3]
    Golden Slumbers - Carry That Wait [Takes 1-3]
    Here Comes The Sun [Take 9]
    Maxwell's Silver Hammer [Take 12]

    Come Together [Take 5]
    The End [Take 3]
    Sun King / Mean Mr Mustard [Take 20]
    Polythene Pam - Bathroom Window [Take 27]
    Because [Take 1]
    The Long One [Trial Edit and Mix]
    Something [Orchestral – Take 39]
    Golden Slumbers [Take 17]


    Expanded 2CD package features the new stereo album mix on and adds a second CD of demos and outtakes
    Limited edition


    1CD digi featuring the new ‘Abbey Road ’ stereo album mix
    Unlimited edition


    12” x 12” lift off lid box to house:
    LP1: New ‘Abbey Road ’ stereo album mix
    LP2: Demos and Outtakes
    LP3: Demos and Outtakes
    Limited edition


    180-gram 1LP vinyl featuring the new stereo album mix
    Packaging faithful to the original album
    905 likes this.
  3. Chemically altered

    Chemically altered Forum Resident

    In your mind
    I'm waiting for the 100th anniversary sets!
    905 likes this.
  4. vinylontubes

    vinylontubes Forum Resident

    Katy, TX
    I actually think this point of view is from an obsolete business model, where tours generate album sales. This is incorrect. The cited artist was Adele. Her and Taylor Swift may be the only two artists where semblance of this model actually is relevant. The facts are that it's the opposite today. Artists make money from touring not selling recordings. When you can tickets for upwards of $100 then sell merchandise at the venue, making an album that might sell Gold level at 1/2 the price a CD was selling for 10 years ago is chump change.

    That being said, the biggest market for new releases is creating a market that will actually extend the sales beyond a single age group. In the case of the Beatles, they keep doing this. This has been going on for decades. The Anthologies were released, the Love album, the Naked version of Let It Be, a release of catalog box sets up to the remix albums. If there is any band taking advantage of an audience that spans at least 4 generations, it's the Beatles. I have no idea what will happen with the 50th anniversary of Abbey Road. But something is going to happen. This is the one album by the band that has never been out of print on Vinyl. A remix seem unnecessary, but as the White Album included a high resolution release, this something that can be predicted for Abbey Road.
    ParloFax likes this.
  5. Stephen J

    Stephen J Forum Resident

    Baton Rouge, LA
    This may sound crazy, but IMO, the last 10+ years the record industry has reverted to being similar to what it was in the 50s and 60s, at least at the top levels of pop music. Sure, the top acts like Taylor Swift and Beyonce and Justin Bieber release albums, but these albums are just vehicles for singles. They often release 3 or 4 singles before the album comes out, these singles being released to streaming and Youtube videos at the same time or in a short period of time, and that's what keeps the artist constantly in the public mind, keeps their Instagram and Twitter follower numbers up, keep up their celebrity Q rating, which drives all their endorsements and branding, etc. The singles are then re-mixed with new "guest" acts, and then these acts will make appearances on the remixes of songs by other artists, etc.

    Just as in the 50s and 60s, when an artist was expected to release a single every 3-4 months or risk having the fast-moving wave of fickle pop fandom leave them behind, the top rap and pop artists do the same thing these days. You gotta constantly be dropping a new video, a new streaming song, a new remix of the last single, a guest appearance on the latest Drake or Kendrick Lamar track, etc. or else risk the same thing. You never want to go more than a few weeks without your name on some song in the Hot 100.

    The Album is no longer the almighty commercial and artistic vehicle it was from the late 60s to the early 2000s.
    unclefred and porieux like this.
  6. Mr Bass

    Mr Bass Chevelle Ma Belle

    Mid Atlantic
  7. tug_of_war

    tug_of_war Sassafras & Moonshine

    You say "rumoured lists", so...
  8. Parachute Woman

    Parachute Woman Forum Resident

    This bit jumped out at me. I'd say '66 was that year, not '68. The Beatles only released Revolver and the Stones only released Aftermath. Kinks only released Face to Face. If you expand beyond British Invasion acts, the Beach Boys only did Pet Sounds in '66 (after releasing 3 records a year for the previous three years) and Dylan only released Blonde on Blonde.
    tug_of_war likes this.
  9. wiseblood

    wiseblood Forum Resident

    Boston, MA, USA
    It's the best we've got. He was looking for an official hint. I gave him a hint. This is what it is on July 31.
    Lonevej and ParloFax like this.
  10. frogfog

    frogfog Zappaddict

    not quite Montreal
  11. Chemically altered

    Chemically altered Forum Resident

    In your mind
    I'm pretty much there already! Lol!
    frogfog likes this.

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